Review of First Hotel Aalborg, Denmark
First Hotel Aalborg is located next to the city's waterfront, overlooking the Limfjord – Denmark's longest fjord, which stretches across Jutland from the Kattegat in the east to the North Sea in the west, connecting the two seas.
We stayed in a Junior Suite, which was decorated in soothing tones of white and grey, with cheerful splashes of colour from purple cushions and upholstery. It had a comfortable seating area with sofa, chair and coffee table, and floor-to-ceiling windows to take full advantage of the view.
And what a view! Being next to the waterfront, we could watch the boats coming and going along the eastern part of the Limfjord that runs through Aalborg – and on one morning we woke to the sight of a huge cruise ship moored just outside.
Beds are luxurious – made in Norway by Jensen, and topped with quality bedding. There was a work desk and minibar in the room, and tea and coffee making facilities, including an espresso machine.
In the bathroom, we found complimentary shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap and body lotion made by eco-friendly brand Botanika. With the wonderful, refreshing scent of verbena and sweet bergamot, these products contain no parabens or other nasty chemicals, and are not tested on animals.The bottles are made out of 100% recyclable PET too.
Guests who are staying for more than one night can decline housekeeping during their stay. In return, guests can choose a free gift – either a locally produced treat from reception, or a voucher for the bar or restaurant. Or guests can opt to have their gift exchanged for a donation to the Amani Children's Home in Tanzania.
First Hotel Aalborg is certified with the international eco-label Green Key, and there are many ways that the hotel is working to reduce its impact on the environment.
Use of paper in reception has been dramatically reduced, and all the lights in the halls, restaurant and lobby have been replaced by energy-efficient LED lights.
The consumption of energy and water, and use of chemicals, has also been reduced.
Recycling at the hotel is excellent, with all waste separated into cardboard, glass, plastics and metal. Even the capsules used in the coffee maker in the Junior Suites are sorted for recycling, and food waste in the kitchen has been almost entirely eliminated, with very little waste sent to landfill.
There was a good selection of food on offer at breakfast, with freshly baked bread, crispy bacon, scrambled or boiled eggs, cheese, and fresh fruit and salads. For the sweet-toothed there were pancakes and Danish cinnamon pastries. Plenty of fresh coffee was available, along with a selection of teas and fruit juices to choose from. There were plant-based options too – and local products are used whenever possible.
The public areas in the hotel are very pleasant, filled with green plants and flowers, lit by candles, and with comfortable places to sit. Outside is a small garden, with outdoor chairs and tables to sit at and enjoy a drink – and we were delighted to find an insect hotel here!
As well as having a superb location next to the water, First Hotel Aalborg is ideally situated for exploring the beautiful city. A short walk along the waterfront brings you to Aalborghus Castle – a half-timbered castle dating from the 16th century – and Toldbod Plads, a majestic square with dancing water fountains.
From here, you can follow attractive streets lined with stylish shops. Wandering through the city streets without a map, we discovered C W Obels Plads, a picturesque cobbled square lined with bustling bars and restaurants.
We also stumbled upon Peder Barkes Gade, a gorgeous narrow street of colourful terraced houses.
One of the major attractions of Aalborg, though, is on the northern edge of the city. Lindholm Høje is an extensive group of burial sites, dating from both the Germanic Iron Age and the Viking age.
It's one of Scandinavia's best-preserved Viking sites, with hundreds of graves and stone ship settings dotted across a vast grassy hillside.
On arrival at First Hotel we received a lovely welcome, with the friendly reception staff helping us to sort out a car-parking space – there are parking spaces alongside the hotel, which is a big bonus for a city centre location.
Rooms are smart and spacious, with Scandinavian design touches such as wooden floors and sleek furniture.
The fascinating museum onsite gives an excellent insight into what life was like at the time, and displays many of the prehistoric findings discovered at Lindholm Høje. For anyone who has an interest in history or archaeology, Lindholm Høje is not to be missed!
With so much to see and do, a visit to Aalborg for a night or two is well worth including in your itinerary if you're exploring Jutland – and First Hotel Aalborg is a fantastic place to base yourself during your stay.